Comment: Amen to that! Running a blog would be a great thing to do, but very hard for anyone saddled with nonprofit economics to justify. An hour spent producing direct-mail fundraising is going to yield much more revenue than an hour spent blogging.
Start a blog now! It will connect you to your donors. A lot of nonprofits are obsessed with telling their story. Their reasoning: If we can distill our wonderfulness and uniqueness into a quick narrative, donors will flock to our cause!
Trouble is, it doesn’t work that way. If you want to get donors excited, tell their story. Not yours.
Obvious? Not if you live in the hermetically sealed chamber of one-way marketing, where you try to figure out donors without actually holding conversations with them. If you’re ready to break out of that chamber and really learn something about your donors, launch a blog.
When you start blogging, two things will happen:
- You’ll get instant feedback from donors about anything you say. Sometimes that feedback is in the form of silence and lack of blog traffic. That tells you you aren’t interesting enough. But the more interesting feedback comes from donors actually talking back — in comments on your blog, and in other blogs.
- You’ll discover what donors care about, what they aspire to, what they believe, what they’re skeptical about, and how they express themselves. It’ll become clearer than ever how you can align yourself with their dreams.
With a blog, donors stop being inscrutable mysteries. They become fellow human beings. Sources not only of donations, but of ideas, inspiration and powerful word-of-mouth support.
So launch a blog. You won’t regret it.
Comment: That’s all fine, but not very many of your donors will read your blog. Forget the hype about blogs. Hardly anybody’s reading them! Only around one in five Americans has ever knowingly visited one. And blog use among donor-aged (55+) people is lower yet. The donors just aren’t there!
How not to sound like an idiot to your donors.
You sound like a complete idiot. I’m not saying that to hurt your feelings. Assuming you don’t have a blog, I can almost guarantee it. Most advertising, direct marketing — and fundraising — uses a tone you’d never use with your friends. If you did, they’d laugh in your face — or slap you!